The action of the IUDs would seem to be a simple local phenomenon.
That these devices prevent nidation [implantation] of an already
fertilized ovum has been accepted as the most likely mechanism of
Searle Laboratories, on its Cu-7 intrauterine device.
The newest brands of intra-uterine device constitute an ideal birth
control method for women who, for health reasons, cannot use the birth
control pill or the insertable contraceptive NORPLANT. The convenient
IUD eliminates the daily need to keep track of pills and is effective at
preventing pregnancy for long periods of time.
History of the
History has shown us that men (and women) display their greatest
ingenuity when they are at war either against other people or against
their own fertility.
Some of our first inventions were designed to kill people and to
prevent other people from being born.
More than 2,000 years ago, camel drivers knew about the contraceptive
effect of intrauterine devices. They would commonly insert small round
stones into the uteri of their female camels in order to prevent
pregnancy on long journeys.
Whether or not human females used this method is unknown. However, we
do know that the first modern-day IUD, the Grafenberg Ring, was placed
on the market in 1915.
Several other companies immediately saw the opportunity for profit,
and by the mid-1930s, there was a proliferation of IUDs for sale. They
sported intimidating names: The Sterilette, the Collar-Button, the
Wishbone, the Silkworm Pust, and the Star. Some of the devices were of
fine quality, but many were made of "... cheaper, noncorrosive
metals, or of celluloid, bakelite, and chromium-plated metals rather
According to one expert, "Sometimes these [cheaper IUDs] were
claimed to be made of solid gold in order to enhance the price, and a
few practitioners took economic advantage of the need and ignorance of
The only IUDs now available on the American market are Alza's
Progestasert (which causes an anti-estrogenic effect) and the newest
IUD, ParaGard, produced by the Population Council and GynoPharma, a
small "front" corporation set up to avoid legal liability.
The Paragard consists of a flexible T-shape containing copper collars on
both arms and a copper coil along the stem, and is supposedly 'good' for
six years. The Progestasert, on the other hand, only functions
effectively for about one year.
Methods of IUD Function.
The Uterus As a Hostile Environment.
The contraceptive manufacturers, in their zeal to destroy women's
fertility, have not had many good experiences with their intra-uterine
devices. This is not at all surprising in light of the fact that the
exact method by which IUDs function is not known.
There is no question that IUDs do not interfere with the menstrual
cycle, the thickening of cervical mucus, sperm migration, fertilization,
or ovulation. By a process of elimination, we can deduce that the only
remaining mechanism by which IUDs can possibly function is by acting as
an abortifacient. The fact that the IUD somehow irritates the
endometrium and makes it inhospitable to the blastocyst is generally
accepted among reproductive scientists.
The G.D. Searle company concedes that "The action of the IUDs
would seem to be a simple local phenomenon. That these devices prevent
nidation [implantation] of an already fertilized ovum has been accepted
as the most likely mechanism of action."
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which must
carefully study birth control methods before releasing them to the
market, stated in their Text of Required Patient Information for IUDs
that "IUDs seem to interfere in some manner with the implantation
of the fertilized egg in the lining of the uterine cavity. The IUD does
not prevent ovulation."
In summary, every IUD currently or previously manufactured prevents
implantation: they are therefore all abortifacients. In other
words, these devices insure that the purpose of the womb is perverted
completely, to the point where the uterus is as barren and hostile to
new life as a desert.
An Expanded Definition of 'Abortion.'
The Catholic Church has recently expanded its definition of abortion
to include new drugs and surgical procedures. This expansion has not
been necessary until this time because such drugs and procedures simply
have not existed until this time, and their invention has created a new
'grey area' that needed to be clarified.
The Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the
Code of Canon Law, on November 24, 1988, stated that abortion is not
only "the expulsion of the immature fetus," but is also
"the killing of the same fetus in any way and at any time from the
moment of conception."
This definition of abortion includes the use of all intrauterine
devices, which are all abortifacient and act by preventing the
implantation of the already-fertilized zygote.
It should be noted that, in order for the sanctions (including
excommunication) against abortion to be applied, the woman must be fully
aware that the IUD's mode of action is abortifacient.
General Classes of IUD.
More than seventy different types of IUDs have been manufactured over
the last half-century. Some of these have consisted of polyethylene with
barium sulfate so that they could be detected by X-rays. The Dalkon
Shield, which was withdrawn from the market on June 28, 1974 due to a
number of maternal deaths, was of this type.
Other IUDs, such as the Progesterone-T, are loaded with varying doses
of progesterone crystals that were usually suspended in silicone oil.
This IUD released about 24 milligrams of progesterone a year. It was
originally promoted with a truly Orwellian label: "The Uterine
The copper IUDs (including the "Copper-7,"
"Copper-T," and "Tatum-T") discharge from 50 to 75
micrograms of ionic copper into the uterus each day. These copper ions
interfere with the life-sustaining functions that regulate implantation
in the uterus. Copper has been proven to be the active agent in these
IUDs, because identical devices are ineffective without the element. The
copper IUDs are effective for about four years.
Studies of Early Abortions.
When a developing blastocyst reaches the uterus and cannot implant,
it becomes the victim of an early abortion. This abortion may not be as
spectacular or as bloody and messy as a late-term surgical abortion, but
it is an abortion just the same.
However, the results of eighteen studies of patients with IUDs found
that the devices do not always prevent implantation. An average 28.6% of
all implanted pregnancies that occurred with the IUD in place were
eventually aborted, and another 8.4% resulted in life-threatening
ectopic pregnancies that required surgery.
Scientists have confirmed this method of action with sophisticated
radioreceptorassay and radioimmunoassay techniques that can detect
pregnancy as early as six days after conception.
Side Effects of the
Until about 1960, the medical community generally criticized IUDs
because of their obvious and severe side effects. However, this
criticism was generally muted because birth control choices were limited
before the widespread distribution of the birth control pill.
Alan Guttmacher, president of Planned Parenthood, stated in 1959 that
"Intrauterine devices are mentioned only to be thoroughly condemned
because of their ineffectiveness, their potential source for infection
and irritation, as well as their carcinogenic potential."
Although IUD technology had not advanced in the slightest, the entire
medical community performed an abrupt about-face about five years later
and began to accept the device. Interestingly, this change in heart was
simultaneous with its flip-flop on abortion.
The Food and Drug Administration's Ad Hoc Committee on IUD Safety met
in 1974 for the purpose of summarizing complaints received about the
various IUDs that were on the market at that time.
The Committee received reports of 238 cases of spontaneous septic
abortion from women who had become pregnant with IUDs in place. 21 of
these women died. The Dalkon Shield was involved in 11 of these deaths
and 209 cases of septic abortion, and the Lippes Loop caused 5 deaths
and 21 septic abortions. Overall, there were about 15,000
IUD-related hospitalizations annually in the early 1970s.
In the most widely-publicized case, A.H. Robin manufactured the
Dalkon Shield from 1971 to 1974. Documented reports of severe injuries
began to surface almost immediately after initial distribution, and, on
June 29, 1975, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced
that it intended to "... require special warning notices for users
of the intrauterine devices, the contraceptives that were linked to 43
deaths in recent years." A.H. Robin pulled the Dalkon Shield
from the market in 1975.
By 1985, 13,000 women had brought suit against the company for
damages relating to sterility, miscarriages, and pelvic infections.
There were at least 14 deaths attributed directly to the effects of the
Ortho Pharmaceuticals withdrew their Lippes Loop from the American
market in 1985. It is believed that the Lippes Loop interfered with
implantation in the endometrium through foreign body reaction in the
uterus. Therefore, this IUD was a true abortifacient.
G.D. Searle withdrew their Copper-7 and Tatum-T in 1986 when their
liability insurance lapsed. The company also faced 775 lawsuits from
women who suffered injuries from their IUDs or who conceived malformed
babies when the devices did not function properly.
Predictably, Searle called the accusations contained in the suits
"unfounded," a strange statement in light of the fact that
Searle listed 31 side effects from its Copper-7 IUD in a 1977 patient
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
PID is a broad term referring to a group of infections that lodge in
the uterus, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes. This condition is not a
sexually-transmitted disease (STD), but is commonly caused by the
About 15 percent of all women will suffer from PID at some point in
their lives, and 1 million new cases are reported each year.
PID is a serious matter. About one-fourth of all outbreaks are severe
enough to warrant hospitalization, and about 150 women die of PID each
year. PID causes half of the 60,000 annual cases of ectopic (tubal)
pregnancies in the United States. Tubal pregnancies account for about
ten percent of all pregnancy-related deaths, and have tripled since
1965. The primary cause of this increase in PID has been the increase of
gonorrhea and chlamydia.
A single occurrence of PID causes one in eight infected women to
become sterile. This probability increases to one-half of all infected
women by the third occurrence. PID also causes reproductive abscesses,
chronic pain and physical disability, and repeated illness.
The incidence of PID in users of an intra-uterine device is nine
times higher in those who do not use the device and have not had
children, and two to three times for those who have not used the device
and who have had children.
Additionally, compared to pregnant women without IUDs, those using
IUDS have a threefold higher risk of spontaneous abortion. They also
face a 50-fold higher risk of death from septic spontaneous abortion and
a 6 to 20 times greater risk of ectopic pregnancy.
The IUD and
The IUDs confronted the anti-fertility industry with a number of
insurmountable problems, the greatest of which was the proven danger of
the devices. However, this did not stop the IUD manufacturers from
turning a tidy profit by dumping their products the poor women of Third
Despite being faced with nearly a thousand lawsuits claiming damage
from its Copper-7 and Tatum-T IUDs, the Searle company stated that it
would continue to manufacture IUDs for women in the Third World.
This is yet another example of our country's "contraceptive
imperialism;" the willingness to dump unsafe and lethal products on
poor women of other countries that are too risky for informed American
This is an extremely serious matter with grave implications that are
not immediately evident.
Women normally lose an average of 35 to 40 cubic centimeters (cc) of
blood during their menstrual period, but women using a loop IUD lose
about twice as much blood, and those who use copper IUDs lose about 50
cc of blood. This indicates that IUDs are not appropriate for use in
developing countries, where anemia and undernutrition are endemic.
Despite the obvious dangers posed by the IUDs, the American Public
Health Association (APHA) backed Searle and other IUD manufacturers by
launching a campaign to distribute IUDs to Third World women and to get
the United States government to assume much of the pharmaceutical
company's legal liability for IUD damages, thus exonerating them of any
References: The Intra-Uterine Device.
 Searle Laboratories. "For the Patient: Cu-7 Brand of
Intrauterine Copper Contraceptive." G.D. Searle Company, August 1,
 Norman E. Hines, Ph.D. Practical Birth-Control Methods.
New York: Viking Press, 1938, page 138.
 Bogamir M. Kuhar, Ph.D. "Pharmaceutical Companies: The New
Abortionists." Reprint 16 from Human Life International, 7845-E
Airpark Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879.
 E.B. Connell. "The Uterine Therapeutic System: A New
Approach to Female Contraception." Contemporary OB/GYN,
 Judy Berlfein. "Birth-Control Technology Creeps Along."
The Oregonian, November 15, 1990, pages B1 and B2.
 Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D. "The Intrauterine Device:
Contraceptive or Abortifacient?" Minnesota Medicine, June
1974. Pages 493 to 501. D.R. Mishell. "Assessing the Intrauterine
Device." Family Planning Perspectives. Planned Parenthood,
7:103-111. 1975. Reproductions. Institute for the Study of Human
Reproduction, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, The Philippines. March
1975. R.G. Wheeler, R.L. Buschbom, and R.K Marshall. "A Rational
Basis for IUD Design and Development." In R.G. Wheeler, G.W. Duncen,
and J.J. Speidel (editors). Intrauterine Devices: Development,
Evaluation, and Program Implementation. New York: Academic Press,
1974. Page 185.
 Searle Laboratories. "For the Patient: Cu-7 Brand of
Intrauterine Copper Contraceptive." Chicago: G.D. Searle Company,
August 1, 1977, pages 7 to 9.
 United States Food and Drug Administration. "Text of
Required Patient Information for IUDs." Federal Register,
May 10, 1977.
 H.J. Tatum. "The New Contraceptive: Copper Bearing
IUDs." Contemporary Obstetrics and Gynecology. January 1973,
pages 61 to 63.
 R. Landesman, E.M. Coutinho, and B.B. Saxena. "Detection of
Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin in Blood of Regularly Bleeding Women Using
Copper Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices." Fertility and
Sterility, 27:1,062. 1976.
 Harold Dubrow, M.D., and Alan Guttmacher, M.D. "The Present
Status of Contraception." Mt. Sinai Journal. New York:
 "The Dalkon Shield and the Questions of Safety." Medical
World News, September 13, 1974, pages 58 to 61. Also see Catherine
Breslin. "Day of Reckoning." Ms. Magazine, June 1989,
pages 46 to 52. This article describes the inside story on the Dalkon
 H.S. Kahn and C.W. Tyler. "IUD-Related Hospitalizations:
United States and Puerto Rico, 1973." Journal of the American
Medical Association. 234:53-56(1973).
 "American Public Health Association Launches Campaign to
Save IUD." ALL News, March 9, 1987.
 Richard P. Dickey, M.D., Ph.D. "The Effect of Recent FDA
Legislation on Contraceptive Developments and Safety." 15 International
Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics 111-112 (1977).
 Julia Kagan. "Sexual Freedom: The Medical Price Women are
Paying." McCall's Magazine, May 1980, page 104.
 Willard Cates and John Ory. "IUD Complications: Infection,
Death, and Ectopic Pregnancy." Controversies in Contraception,
1979, page 187.
 Front Line Updates. "Searle Removes IUDs From U.S.
Market." National Right to Life News, February 27, 1986.
 F. Hefnawi and H. Aksalani. "Menstrual Blood Loss With
Copper Intrauterine Devices." Contraception, September 1974,
pages 133 to 139.
Further Reading: The Intra-Uterine Device.
American Life League. "The Birth Control Game: Gambling with
Order from American Life League, Post Office Box 1350, Stafford,
Virginia 22554. How IUDs and the birth control pills work by killing new
Bernadell Technical Bulletin.
An excellent bibliography of more than 150 sources on the effects of
abortion and contraception (including abortifacient birth control pills
and IUDs) on fertility may be found in the November 1990 issue of the
Bernadell Technical Bulletin, pages 7 to 9. Order the Bulletin from Post
Office Box 1897, New York, New York 10113-0950.
Couple to Couple League. "The Pill and the IUD: Some Facts
for an Informed Choice."
Pamphlet available for 10 cents from the Couple to Couple League,
Post Office Box 11084, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211. Telephone: (513)
J.C. Espinoza, M.D. Birth Control: Why Are They Lying to Women?
Paperback. Order from: Life Issues Bookshelf, Sun Life, Thaxton,
Virginia 24174, telephone: (703) 586-4898, or from Our Lady's Book
Service, Nazareth Homestead, R.D. 1, Box 258, Constable, New York 12926,
telephone: 1-800-263-8160. Reviewed by Eugene F. Diamond, M.D., on page
32 of the February 1983 ALL About Issues. The eugenicists, the
birth-control profitmakers, and the Neomalthusians have concocted an
effective and pervasive propaganda campaign against population. This
propaganda is filled with lies, half-truths, and distortions. Dr.
Espinoza's book exposes the health hazards of artificial contraception
and shows that safe and effective natural family planning is really the
only way to go from a practical standpoint. Also available in Spanish as
El Control De La Natalidad: Porque Les Mienten A Las Mujeres?
Thomas W. Hilgers, M.D. "An Evaluation of Intrauterine
Devices." International Review of Natural Family Planning,
Available as a reprint from the Human Life Center, University of
Steubenville, Steubenville, Ohio 43952. Telephone: (614) 282-9953.
Human Life International. Project Abortifacients.
June 1991, 23 pages. This summary report, updated periodically by
Human Life International, lists major quotes and many major studies on
the abortifacient mode of action and side effects of the most common
abortifacients: The birth control pill, the intra-uterine device (IUD),
NORPLANT, RU-486, and Depo-Provera. Available from Human Life
International, 7845-E Airpark Road, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879.
© American Life League BBS — 1-703-659-7111
This is a chapter of the Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia Published
by American Life League.